[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he venerable Li Bai at Sheraton Towers has garnered a loyal following over the years, thanks to its classic Cantonese fare executed with flair. Hong Kong-born chef Chung Yiu Ming, who has decades of culinary experience, still helms this place after 18 solid years. So rest assured that the flavours coming from the kitchen continue to be highly dependable.
Interior-wise, there’s not much change over the years, but no one is complaining. Setting the mood for an elegant meal are deep-green jade placemats and shiny silver-capped chopsticks, neatly arranged on the tables.
We settle in for a weekday lunch feast. To kick off, we munch on dim sum including steamed crystal dumplings – delicate, soft parcels filled with a colourful medley of vegetables. Quintessential items like har gow with plump prawns are refined and well made, and stir-fried radish cake with XO chilli sauce is aromatic, thanks to the sprinkling of preserved meat and dried shrimps.
Barbecued sliced duck brightened with slices of fresh mango and a drizzling of lemon sauce is highly recommended, as is the Peking duck, carved tableside. The roast pork and caramelised char siew are flawless too.
We can’t quite decide on the mains, so the waiter suggests either the spare ribs or the beef with black pepper. We pick the latter and are pleased
with the juicy sauteed diced beef fillet tossed with aromatic black pepper and garlic, and further perfumed with red wine sauce. From the healthy vegetarian options, the braised beancurd with slightly crunchy bamboo pith, Japanese mushroom and fresh choy sum is another classic dish that’s superbly executed.
Stir-fried fish noodles served with prawns in a comforting supreme stock offers a springy bite and is delicious to the last strand. If you like, there’s also a piquant version with diced chicken in Sichuan sauce.
The fine food coupled with warm and friendly hospitality make Li Bai a stalwart that you don’t mind coming back to time and again. The business set lunch is a great option for those who want a satisfying and impressive lunch, yet have limited time.